By: Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
You and I are living at a time when ancient texts are joining hands with modern technology; the result is magnificent digital images of hundreds of thousands of handwritten pages of the New Testament, copied out by faithful scribes in wretched conditions.
Can you imagine what would be lost if scribes had not copied the biblical texts? They labored alone, in dark and dank rooms, copying the texts of old for unknown generations to come. But because of their devotion to Scripture, even the ravages of history could not erase the abundance of New Testament manuscripts we still have today.
But these texts are deteriorating—even in the best libraries all manuscripts will decay—and they are scattered across the globe in hundreds of cities and villages. What would happen if we came too late? This has happened before; I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The urgency is great. And at CSNTM, we have the trained staff, we have the equipment, but we don’t have all the funds that we need.
A generous supporter of CSNTM is offering a significant and time-sensitive opportunity to you. This partner, who would like to remain anonymous, is challenging you—the friends of CSNTM—to give $100,000 toward our mission. Your support will make multiple opportunities possible:
- Digitizing manuscripts: This is the core of our mission and our primary task. We are currently preparing for future digitization projects—especially in Eastern Europe—with the potential to photograph scores of Greek New Testament manuscripts.
- Improving the website: We are working to add improvements to our website that make it even easier to use for people studying manuscripts online and to maximize the potential for studying multispectral images.
- Training graduate students: Our internship program prepares talented graduate students to become the next generation of scholars and leaders. Over the course of a year, they receive hands-on training from CSNTM’s Research Team. We are looking forward to working with this year’s cohort in just a few weeks.
- Undertaking original research: Between expeditions, the Research Team at CSNTM is working on a major transcription project of papyrus manuscripts. We expect this publication to make a valuable contribution to the scholars studying these important New Testament manuscripts.
What this gift means is that we have received a $100,000 donation and the donor is inviting and challenging you to match their gift. Altogether, your support could provide a total of $200,000 for the preservation of New Testament manuscripts! Already more than $13,000 has been given toward the challenge grant—so we’re more than 10% of the way there. You could join this group of generous people. This opportunity applies whether your gift is a monthly donation or a one-time gift. Your partnership with CSNTM will make an invaluable impact. We are asking you to consider supporting this urgent mission. Would you make a gift today while you still have the opportunity for it to be doubled?